The Mesquite Police Department is a proud sponsor of Law Enforcement Explorer Program since 1988. This program gives young men and women a hands-on chance to determine if they want to pursue a career in law enforcement. It also builds trust and cooperation between youth and the police department.
Law Enforcement Exploring is a Learning for Life program, which is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. Each post is headed by an advisor, who also is a commissioned officer. The advisors also have associate advisors (commissioned officers as well) assisting them. These officers train and educate Explorers in a number of law enforcement subjects as well as in the department operations. The advisors and associate advisors, many of whom are former Explorers themselves, volunteer the time they spend with the program.
The department's Explorers are young adults, both male and female, ages 14-21. This is a voluntary program that does require Explorer's commitment to bettering themselves through their studies. If you would like to be considered for the Explorer Post, please fill out the "City Application" and bring it to the Mesquite Police Department.
WHAT THE PROGRAM OFFERS
The Explorer Program gives young adults the chance to:
• Learn the duties and procedures of MPD officers. This includes being taught how to conduct a car stop, search a building, handcuff suspects, patrol activities, traffic law, etc.
• Understand how different parts of the MPD function together. To do this, Explorers are taught how the Clark County and city jails are operated and how K-9, SWAT, Communications, etc., are used in conjunction with patrol. This normally includes giving Explorers a chance to tour various facilities.
• Compete with different Explorer Posts from police departments across the United States. Each year Explorers are given the chance to travel to different cities to attend law Enforcement Exploring Conferences as well as to compete with other Explorers in law enforcement-related scenarios.
• Develop leadership skills, self-confidence, maturity and discipline. Explorers are given the chance to advance in rank by testing for the position of sergeant, lieutenant and captain. With each rank attained, the Explorers are challenged by being put in a leadership role within the program. Explorers also must maintain a uniform and pass inspection by police officers.• Participate in community activities to obtain community service hours. As part of their membership requirements, Explorers are called upon by departments and community organizations to help facilitate events and gatherings such as National Night Out, Trunk or Treat, etc.
WHAT IT TAKES
Explorers not only represent themselves but they represent the MPD and our community as well. To become an Explorer, young people must meet the following standards:
• Completed the 8th grade, graduated, or obtained a GED and must be between the ages of 14-21.
• Be of good moral habits with no arrest or conviction records for serious offenses, or multiple minor offenses. (Must be willing to submit to a complete background check.)
• If a minor, must have parental approval, which includes signatures by the applicant and his/her parents or guardians on a general liability release and medical waiver forms.
• Be of good mental and physical health.
• Must have or maintain a "C" average or above in school.
*NOTE: Each Explorer must "retire" from the Explorer Post upon his/her 21st birthday.
SO HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
If you meet the requirements for membership and you'd like more information or would like to become an Explorer, you can call the advisors. Explorer meetings are held every Tuesday night, so check with the officers for the next scheduled meeting.
Sgt. Mike VanHouten leads the MPD's Explorer Program and would be happy to help you with any questions about the Department's Explorer Program. Sgt. Van Houten can be reached at 702-346-5262 ext. 6004